1 & 2 Samuel: Day 22

David’s Lament

by

Today's Text: 2 Samuel 1:1-27, 2 Samuel 2:1-32, Psalm 60, Romans 12:14

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 1:1-27, 2 Samuel 2:1-32, Psalm 60, Romans 12:14

Have you ever watched the 1950s movie, Sunset Boulevard? Norma, an aging Hollywood starlet, longs for a comeback. She’s deluded enough to think that by sheer force of will, she can break back into the business with a new movie. It goes horribly wrong for her, and the movie ends as she descends a staircase, guilty of murder, smiling and waving to the flashes of reporters’ cameras as she’s taken into police custody. Norma couldn’t loosen her vulture-grip on her own fame to see reality.

Now, I’m not usually a wide-eyed crazy lady clawing at the scraps of my imagined life—or am I? Do I try to hold onto things that are gone and out of my control? Do I secretly attempt to force God to do my bidding? I suspect that because of our sin nature, we all try to control our own circumstances, instead of trusting God to go to bat for us.

The aging starlet reminds me of King Saul. While Saul was still in power, Samuel anointed David as God’s choice for king (1 Samuel 16:1). Instead of gracefully stepping down, Saul raged on, fighting for years against both David and the will of God.

Look at the story from David’s perspective. He was the youngest and the least impressive of all his brothers. Although Samuel did have a small family ceremony after he anointed him, not much changed right away for David. He was still the little brother who had to tend the sheep.

But one very significant thing did change immediately: the Spirit of the Lord came upon David and departed from Saul, who was then plagued by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14). Although David didn’t actually assume the throne for years after he was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord was with him. That was more valuable than 10,000 thrones. While Saul scraped and grasped to keep control of his kingdom, David waited on God’s timing and spent the years learning to listen to the Lord.

Despite the Lord’s clear choice of David as king over Israel, Saul was unwilling to give up the kingdom. He knew David would be king, but he was unable to let go of his delusion of power before his death.

David didn’t have to scramble and fight for the crown. The Lord chose him; He gave David the throne (2 Samuel 2). David didn’t have to take matters into his own hands. God had everything under control, and He still does. His faithfulness frees us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Like David, we are free to bless, and not curse, those who would seek to harm us (Romans 12:12,14).

We don’t have to claw, hustle, and scratch to make things happen in our lives. God is still sovereign. In spite of all Saul’s labors, his day was over as David’s was ready to begin. David waited patiently for the Lord, and we can, too, with confidence. God will defend and protect us.

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  • Danya Ho

    David didn’t have to scramble and fight for the crown. The Lord chose him; He gave David the throne (2 Samuel 2). David didn’t have to take matters into his own hands. God had everything under control, and He still does. His faithfulness frees us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Like David, we are free to bless, and not curse, those who would seek to harm us (Romans 12:12,14).

  • Gabriela

    hi!

  • I came across this article today and had to share! It talks specifically about David’s wait to become king and ties in well with the devotional too. It is a quick read so if you have a few minutes to spare, I would definitely recommend reading it!

    http://www.ourmanna.com/articles/life-issues/wait-for-gods-time/

    • truthseeker

      Yes! This is an excellent article – thank you for sharing.

    • Carol

      Great connection! Also the website in general is awesome! Thank you for sharing!

    • Kari

      Thank you Kristi!! This was my read for this morning since the new one isn’t up on SRT yet! Thank you for sharing this! What a strong message.

    • Chelsea

      Loved it! Thanks!!

    • Pamela

      Thank you for sharing this page. Very helpful information. I enjoyed the article very much

  • Sylvia Lemley

    How I want to take control of my circumstances right now. In a wheel chair-unable to put my left foot down. Things with my Mother seemly getting out of control- God says “Trust me. I’ve been in charge of the cosmos for eons. Trust me.”

  • churchmouse

    I failed at this just this past weekend. Our daughter is on her honeymoon. Her wonderfully romantic groom made all the arrangements , not even telling her where they were going – his surprise gift. (He did tell her there would be sun and water so she had some idea of what to pack) They desired to keep the destination completely private, telling no one. And I mean no one. He told us in an emergency, they could be reached by email. They truly wanted to just be alone. I get that. I do. And I respected that. Until Paris. And then Barcelona. I thought I had full trust in God until… Oh my I just wanted to know for sure. Our oldest daughter emailed the bridesmaids. And she called their departure airport (no, we didn’t even know the airlines.). The bridesmaids didn’t know. The airport had confidentiality rules. My husband texted the best man. He didn’t know. Yes, we went a little crazy. The best man reached out to the groom. We received a text from our daughter and then separately from our son in law: “We are safe and not in Europe.” Sigh of relief! And I read today’s devotion and feel like I failed a test of my faith. “David didn’t take matters into his own hands. God had everything under control, and He still does.” Our daughter and her wonderful husband are both strong Christians. Their eternal destiny is secure. There is nothing better than heaven. I know, no matter what, I would see them again. And yet… I panicked. And I tried to get some control. I’m an older Christian, years of faith under my belt, and still… I’m all too human. Lord, help me. Yet again, help me to trust in You.

    • Elle

      Maybe, you didn’t fail a test at all… maybe, our gracious Father gave you a lesson and also a lovely testimony that even when you are mature you can still have new lessons to learn and that he IS a wonderful counselor. I am blessed by your sharing. Thank you. Praying for blessings to multiply back to you.

    • Melinda

      I FEEL you, Churchmouse. My daughter got married in and LIVES in the Middle East! (25-year old missionary in Turkey). God bless you for your transparency; its encouragement to us all. Faith is a tricky thing when it comes to our loved ones and their safety. I’ve learned that NO PLACE is safe on this earth. And that because our days are numbered, we can relax in that. Easy? No. Learned? Yes. Because real spirituality takes a lifetime of obedience resulting in strong character which is our greatest defense against fear and the temptation to go before God. I fail and fall at this often. Like David. But, like David, I’m forgiven and so are you:)

  • Cheryl Anne Sedler

    Very very good point. You made me think, glad I was listening, because your post saved me a lot of grief today. Examining my heart and intentions was so good, released the things I was grasping. Let Go and let YHWH. Cliche’ I know, but true. Shalom

  • Marytony

    Something that I have been pondering for a couple of days is how David honored Saul even to the last moment. But more than that, also God did not allow David to participate in any way on Saul’s death, since David was not part of the battle in which Saul died.
    On 1 Sam 29, the Philistines prepare to go to battle and David was to join as well (1 Sam29:2), but the commanders where angry and did not want him or his men to fight by their side. So David was sent back to Ziklag.
    When he arrives he finds that the Amalekites have attacked the town and taken all the people with them. So while David is busy taking care of rescuing his family, by God’s instruction (according 1 Sam 30:8), the Philistines are fighting the Israelites. And it is during this battle that Saul and his sons die.
    God took David out of this battle so he wouldn’t take ANY part on the kings’ death. He would be “faultless” before the people when his time to rise as king would come. I love how not only David honored Saul, but God honored David’s heart as well.

    And another tidbit I found on this passage is about David’s heart. The bible says that David had a heart “after God’s own heart”, and we can see that in this passage, David laments not only his friend’s death (Jonathan), but his enemy’s (Saul) as well. It reminded me of how God loves as all, not only when we are his friends, but he loved us even when we were his enemies (Romans 5:10).

  • Sarah Buchanan

    This is one hard concept to grasp. After graduating college in May full of ambitions and certain God had a big crazy plan for my life I sit on my couch and still wonder if I’m heading in the right direction, if there is something I can do to get the ball rolling, if God still has crazy big things in mind for me. The mundane of my career, married life, and serving in church ministry have blinded me from the underlying plan God must have in place. Oh how I desire to trust and be satisfied that this season of being the little brother taking care of the sheep will prepare me for the moment He calls on His anointed to take her place and serve Him.

    • Emily B.

      Maybe the mundane things, as you called them, ARE part of the underlying plan. You can serve God right where you are and right in whatever it is you’re doing now.

    • Lizzieb85

      A few years ago I had a miscarriage (my first pregnancy). God told us to wait until trying again. Those 2 years were so very hard. Nothing was happening– on the outside. But that time was a very very important time for my spiritual growth. When we felt led to start our family, I got pregnant with twins! Then I took on major ministry positions while pregnant. And our life has been full speed since!! Take this time to just Be. Be with Him. Be with your husband. And then be ready for when God says “Go!”

    • truthseeker

      Oswald Chambers mentions in quite a few of his devotions that the mundane things of this life are the most challenging times to remain faithful in waiting for Gods timing and that they are the times of spiritual growth. ◄ Psalm 46:10 ►
      New International Version
      He says, “Be still, and know that I am God”
      Being still is so very hard for us to do.

    • Allison

      I had this friend once. Her name was Kara. She was a stay at home mom friend of mine in my early years of learning that life. She helped me grow in joy of the little things simply by watching her and chatting about the little things. As the years and miles separated us, we would email to keep in touch, but she also kept a blog called Mundane Faithfullness, and it helped many see how even in the little, especially in the little things of life, we are doing the greatest things! So any time I hear the word mundane, I think of her. Sarah, the mundane, is just that mundane. But it doesn’t mean those things are pointless or worthless. In fact, taking joy in the little things might even make the big things that much sweeter!

    • Kristen Clegs

      A quotation I’ve been pondering:
      “God will give you a place to inhabit which means that you get to become attentive to that which is there where you are. This means that to dwell knowledgeably and hospitable in and towards the place God gives you is to glorify Him. God will give you a few things that He intends for you to do in your inhabited place and with these people. To do what God gives you to do is to strengthen the common good and to glorify God.”

      My own experience, and that of many others, is that God rarely entrusts something “crazy big” to a child of His until after they have been faithful in the little, the mundane, the lonely, the desert, and faithful to the few and the unseen. Love the person right in front of you well. That is always God’s will.

  • Letting go and letting God have control is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn and relearn and relearn..sigh. I’m an ‘A’ personality and letting go comes hard for me. I needed to hear this today also, Emily, there is a lot going on in my life right now and I was getting impatient. This soothed my stormy mind and reminded me what I already know but struggle with, God has this and eventually it will be handled and handled much better than I ever would be able to do. I hope it doesn’t take years but if it does then I can just go back and read about Saul and David for a reminder. The best thing I can do is get on with what He asks of us and that is to spread the word of salvation then I don’t have so much time for self.

    • Annette

      Letting go has been my biggest struggle in my life recently. So encouraged to know that I’m not the only one. This devotion was exactly what I needed today. I need to remember that God is in control and everything comes in His time.

  • “We don’t have to claw, hustle, and scratch to make things happen in our lives.”
    This was what I needed to hear this morning. As part of a generation that prides itself on “side hustles”, I find it hard to rest, it always seems like my dreams are just around the corner if I can work hard enough. Increasingly God has been reminding me that we’re called to be satisfied in Him, not to sacrifice our lives to hustling and fighting for success.

    • Jessica

      Amen! I can so relate to what you said. Thanks for sharing your heart Emily.

    • Emily B.

      Yes! Thank you for these words!

    • Ariana

      Ari

      • Ariana

        I messed up with the typing first go round, Wow! The way God spoke to you in the “side hustles” that just wrecked my heart. I have been running and running trying to “side hustle” while working a full-time ministry job. Telling myself I need this to pay student loans. When In reality, I don’t. Now I think my side hustle is good . But I think God could make it Holy if I gave it over to Him and said ” Where do you want me to go today with this?” “How can I glorify you today through this?” instead of having this feeling of being unprovided for. Because we are so well provided for by our Father who is in heaven. I think scraping and clawing shows a lack of faith. I am so glad you said that! Thank you!

  • This is SO timely for me because I struggle with control – my nightmares regularly consist of being out of control. Just last night, I had a combination back-to-school + forgetting to bring the music I’m playing at my brother’s wedding nightmare! it really shook me up, but then I woke up to this reminder that I need to rest in God’s plan and continue to seek Him. What a RELIEF it is that we don’t have to carry the full burden of control!

  • “Do I try to hold onto things that are gone and out of my control? Do I secretly attempt to force God to do my bidding?”

    Ouch. This followed my many desperate prayers this morning for God to bless us with a baby this month. Since I miscarried our first child several months ago, I am finding it so difficult to be patient in affliction and trust God’s timing/will. David knew God was faithful and patiently waited for His timing and deliverance.

    I pray that I would walk in that same confidence in my head and heart today.

    • Natalie

      Praying for you!

    • Anna

      I am so sorry Emily for your loss and holding a place in my prayers for you today!

    • CC

      I’ve been praying that same desperate prayer, Emily. I also miscarried our first child a few months ago and it has been agonizing waiting for my body to heal and to start the process again. My sister-in-law talked to me right after it all happened and she shared a devotional about how purposeful and perfect God’s timing is with the day a child enters the world (his or her birthday!) and how that one special day sets the course for so much of their life…when they go to school, the friends they will meet, which world events will shape their lives, who they may marry. I’ve held onto this little reminder to help me in those moments of confusion and impatience and even frustration. If He desires for us to have a baby, He has a very special and purposeful day picked out, even when it’s not the day I had picked out…just like David probably felt after being anointed king and then years of waiting to actually BE king!

      • Emily

        I’m sorry for your loss too and praying for your heart as well. I have never thought of that before, thank you so much for sharing! I will try to remind myself of that today when my mind wanders.

    • Amelia

      Emily and CC, I’m praying for you both today. I’m so sorry for your losses; it’s such a hard thing to handle emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I lost three babies and had two failed rounds of IVF. I struggled tremendously through it, but, in all that loss, God brought me to the most amazing community of believers. Now I’m pregnant again, and just this morning we had our first ever healthy 12 week ultrasound! It seems never-ending when you’re stuck in loss and doubt, but I know God is aligning all things perfectly for you and your babies. Take heart, sisters.

      • Emily

        Thank you for sharing, I’m sorry for your losses. I can’t imagine the joy you felt this morning! Your encouragement does help, and I just walked out my front door to the most beautiful rainbow! God is so incredibly kind in the midst of good and hard things :)

      • CC

        Amelia, thank you so much for your sweet words and I’m so sorry for your losses. Yet, I’m also rejoicing with you for your healthy 12-week check up!!! What a thing to celebrate! God is good, no matter what :)

  • It is hard to know when to wait and when God wants us to be moving forward in some way. I have 2 sons. They would love to be married to godly young ladies. Their are none in their very late 20’s to choose from through church/work options. They have looked a few other ways too and the age groups are young and married or older and married. Wondering if God would have them both stay single even though it is their desire to marry. Waiting is confusing.

    • Cera

      I’m a single, godly, young lady in her late 20’s! ;) Just kidding. Although I am. But, I encourage you or your sons to listen to some of John Piper’s sermons on singleness. He has helped me see so much clearer how it is just one state of being verses another. God can use us while we’re still single, even if the desire to be married never leaves us. Go forward in the work of Christ and His desires will come about. David loved the Lord before he ever became King and everything he did in his life before being anointed helped him when it was his time to have a kingdom.

    • Emily B.

      Similar to what Cera said, even if it’s not particularly helpful, I know a single, godly woman in her late 20s who desires to get married. :)

    • Brenda

      It is interesting that your boys are looking for Godly women. In my community, the reverse is true. I have a daughter and when people tell her to wait, I sometimes follow up with name me even one guy that would be worthy of her to date. They have no response. Anyhow, Cera, I’m glad you mentioned John Paper’s sermons. I will have to look them up. You sound like you have a great perspective. Wishing all our young singles the right guy or gal and not to settle. And if God plans for them singleness, let them find peace in their heart.

      • churchmouse

        The response for her to wait is even more valid when they don’t offer a name. That reminds you and her to trust God and God alone. God knows the name if that is His plan for her life. Sure, introductions can be made. And the age group you are asking may not know guys her age to even offer a name. . But I’m pretty sure they would share very specific answers to the type of guy she should date. I’m sure they coukd describe in detail the qualities that make for a good mate… And they could describe the warning signs in detail as well. A Godly man may seem rare but not in God’s economy. In His economy, a Godly man is the best… and worth waiting for. In the meantime… You’re absolutely right that young adults should pray for discernment about God’s plan for them. It may be lifelong singleness. And if it does, He will give them grace and joy and fulfillment in it. He promises just that when one follows Him, regardless of their ‘status.’

  • Good thoughts, Christy. We can not agree with someone’s actions and yet have compassion for the way they are afflicted. Since we know the spirit of the Lord was on David, we can see how he would have godly compassion for Saul – especially given his very close relationship with Jonathan.

  • I’m really challenged by how David mourned for Saul. I understand why he didn’t want to kill him earlier on because he was God’s anointed one, but I would have expected a sense of relief when Saul finally died, that now he was free of having to run and hide from Saul trying to kill him, now God’s plan could move forward. The mourning for Jonathan makes sense but I’m not sure about the mourning for Saul. Does anyone have any thoughts on why David responded that way?

    • Christy

      I think it might be because David was close to Saul and his family before Saul’s revenge and anger overtook him. David played music to comfort Saul in his affliction. David ate meals with Saul and Jonathan regularly. I also think that David understood the tragedy that unfolded in Saul’s life. Because of David’s friendship with Jonathan, David would have seen the damage that Saul was doing to his family, including putting Jonathan in danger. All of those things put together make it a truly lamentable story. David’s mourning was honorable.
      Just some thoughts :)

      • Caitlin

        I agree with Christy. Just to add on, I think David was mourning the loss of one that God had anointed. He might have seen some of himself in Saul as well. David was also anointed to be king, I have to wonder if this situation didn’t put his own mortality in the front of his mind. I also think he’s mourning what could have been. I think he was still hoping that Saul would repent and begin to do the right things, but now there was no hope of that.

        • Brenna

          I shared some similar thoughts with Caitlin. We see how David continued to treat Saul with respect and honour even when others did not. He continually refers to Saul as the Lord’s anointed. With Saul’s death, Israel lost a king and I think David wanted to show the proper mourning the loss of their king warranted.

      • Lesley

        Thanks, that’s really helpful!

    • Nancy

      My study Bible says, “David had every reason to hate Saul, but he chose not to. Instead, he chose to look at the good Saul had done and to ignore the times Saul attacked him. It takes courage to lay aside hatred and hurt to respect the positive side of another person especially an enemy.” I don’t think I could do what David did!

    • Melinda

      Maybe he was mourning the loss of Saul’s soul:(

  • Amen! Learning to love this way and although I’m taking baby steps, it is freeing and exciting!

  • Karen From Virginia

    Learning to rest in the Lord is a lifelong lesson. It’s best to wait on the Lord. Even after Saul’s death, David waited for God to have the people put him in place. Trusting the Lord is always best. Believing He doesn’t need us to push issues and make stuff happen takes faith. He can faithfully lead as we trust.

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